One Thing

Thing: An object that you cannot give a specific name to.

“As the disciples continued their travel, Jesus entered a village where a woman by the name of Martha opened her home to Him and made Him feel quite welcome. She had a sister called Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet listening to what He said and hanging onto His every word. But Martha was distracted and was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen and by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and interrupted them and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned me and left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me out!” The Lord replied, “Martha, dear Martha, you are worried and upset about many things and you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself all worked up over nothing. One thing is essential – one thing is better – and Mary has chosen it, therefore it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

The thing about this story is that each time I read it, I find myself getting really defensive. That’s probably because I’m a Martha-type personality. A “get-the-job-done” type of girl and in fact I sometimes find myself thinking that Mary is just plain lazy! (Sorry for all you Mary’s out there!) I often feel like everything has to be ‘done’ and cleaned and ‘fixed up’ and finished before I can allow myself time to sit down and rest. And of course, that rarely happens because I just keep finding more stuff to do!

But God has been nudging me lately for a long time. He has been trying to get my attention, trying to remind me that as much as getting stuff done is good, time with Him is better. Time with Him is essential. I admit that I can get so focused on organizing stuff (ok, and people too) that not only do I forget about me, sometimes I totally forget about God.

My friend and fellow blogger Vicki Simpson posted the following tip for what to do when it’s all too hard and life becomes too overwhelming.

She says we must “identify the one thing that is necessary” and go with the one thing that will bring the greatest sense of satisfaction, and then just do it.

I love how she says that by just doing that “one thing”, sometimes that’s all the momentum needed for us to move onto the next “one thing” and then the next.

Sometimes its not all that easy to name that “one thing” but I know what it is for me: the “one thing” I need to be doing is already right in front of me. I’ve identified it, I know it’s going to bring me a great sense of satisfaction, I know that if I get started the momentum will build. I just have to do it.

I’m challenged today to stop being critical of Mary and to stop beating myself up for my Martha-like tendencies. I’m challenged to go looking for that little bit of Mary that must be is hiding within me. I’m challenged to find a few minutes each day, somewhere in the middle of my crazy-busy, messy life, to just sit. To stop fussing over all the “stuff”. To stop getting worked up over the little things. To stop being distracted and pulled away with my endless “to do” lists. And to just do nothing for a moment. Not because I’m lazy. Not because I need lots of ‘me’ time. Not because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. But because it’s the one thing God wants me to do.


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